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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Nora Wex Offline
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Angry I don't feel comfortable going on the family trip - June 13th 2016, 09:45 PM

From the beginning, I can tell you that this isn't just me complaining about annoying relatives that I don't want to see on the trip.

My mom takes us to see her family every summer, and lately it's been getting harder and harder to go. They have very right-wing opinions, which I don't agree with. They are biased, transphobic, islamaphobic, and they don't like me. They come from the sort of place that likes to hang Confederate flags around and they seriously make me uncomfortable.

The last time we went, I was terribly sick because of a medical condition to the point where I could barely move from pain. Everyone kept complaining about how much of a hassle I was, my cousin made nasty remarks about my father who had recently died, and I just generally do not feel safe. My mom threatens me and says if I don't behave she'll take my laptop away and occasionally she yells and gets manipulative with me.

I've told her I don't want her to waste over 1,000 dollars on bringing my brother and I on vacation since we both don't want to go. We only go once a year and I barely know these people! I don't agree with them at all, and I know they don't like me inside. My mom refuses to believe me and she insists on making me go. Not only that, but I think I'm old enough that I can make my own decision on whether I want to go or not. She thinks she can control everything- But she told me last time when she got all upset about me complaining over being in pain that she told me that I made her want to kill herself. She was probably just exaggerated and angry, but it still hurt. A few hours later, she acted like nothing happened. I think she forgets the remarks she makes to me, and how much these trips are really bad for all of us.

On top of that, I wanted to visit my boyfriend this summer because we've been going steady for awhile and both of us could really use it with all the problems we have going on. I had plane tickets and everything sorted out but she refused to comply. She thinks my relationship is a joke and that it's just some phase I'm going through, but both of us are serious. She tells me he has his own life and his own girlfriends, but I know he isn't cheating on me and I know I'm very important to him. He's important to me too, and I miss him so much it hurts sometimes. I was so furious when she switched out MY dream trip for this awful one, AGAIN.

I want to get out of this stupid trip so I don't have to be around my unbearable relatives, and hopefully prove to my mom that I know what I'm doing and that I need to make my own choices.
   
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Re: I don't feel comfortable going on the family trip - June 17th 2016, 12:34 AM

Hey there,

I can relate to this a lot. I don't really fit in with a lot of my family, and as such our yearly holiday gathering is one of the worst days of the year for me - I have to talk myself into going there, spend the actual day feeling miserable, and then take a couple of days afterwards to shake off the whole experience (because if you don't fit in, there's always that one relative who always points it out in the most snide way possible). It can be difficult for someone who has a different experience at the same event to understand how uncomfortable and even distressing it can be - so it might be hard for your mother to see things from your point of view, because the trip is always fun for her.

My advice for this situation would be to try to come up with some kind of compromise. Maybe you could get a summer job or volunteering gig in exchange for not going on the trip, to show to your mother that you're responsible and mature, but you just don't want to go on holiday with your family. Or you could ask for a one-year reprieve; if your mother lets you skip this trip, you can revisit the issue again next year (rather than asking for permanent permission to stop going on the trips, which may be harder for your mother to agree to). You could also try seeing having a conversation with your mother about your differing points of view - for example you could explain how the trips make you feel, and in turn ask her to explain why it's so important that you go on them.

As for the boyfriend issue, would it help if your he were to talk to your mother directly? Maybe he could talk to her on the phone or through a video messaging platform; that way your mother might be able to see that he's serious about the relationship (because, let's face it, not many guys will talk to their girlfriend's mother if they're not totally invested in the relationship). If his parents are more understanding you could even have them talk to your mother, because she might respond better to talking to another adult. You could also try asking her what it would take to prove to her that you're both serious about your relationship, because that at least shows that you're willing to negotiate with your mother.

I hope this helped a bit, and good luck!


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Re: I don't feel comfortable going on the family trip - June 20th 2016, 04:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vargulf View Post
Hey there,

I can relate to this a lot. I don't really fit in with a lot of my family, and as such our yearly holiday gathering is one of the worst days of the year for me - I have to talk myself into going there, spend the actual day feeling miserable, and then take a couple of days afterwards to shake off the whole experience (because if you don't fit in, there's always that one relative who always points it out in the most snide way possible). It can be difficult for someone who has a different experience at the same event to understand how uncomfortable and even distressing it can be - so it might be hard for your mother to see things from your point of view, because the trip is always fun for her.

My advice for this situation would be to try to come up with some kind of compromise. Maybe you could get a summer job or volunteering gig in exchange for not going on the trip, to show to your mother that you're responsible and mature, but you just don't want to go on holiday with your family. Or you could ask for a one-year reprieve; if your mother lets you skip this trip, you can revisit the issue again next year (rather than asking for permanent permission to stop going on the trips, which may be harder for your mother to agree to). You could also try seeing having a conversation with your mother about your differing points of view - for example you could explain how the trips make you feel, and in turn ask her to explain why it's so important that you go on them.

As for the boyfriend issue, would it help if your he were to talk to your mother directly? Maybe he could talk to her on the phone or through a video messaging platform; that way your mother might be able to see that he's serious about the relationship (because, let's face it, not many guys will talk to their girlfriend's mother if they're not totally invested in the relationship). If his parents are more understanding you could even have them talk to your mother, because she might respond better to talking to another adult. You could also try asking her what it would take to prove to her that you're both serious about your relationship, because that at least shows that you're willing to negotiate with your mother.

I hope this helped a bit, and good luck!
Thanks for your reply. And I've been trying to think of something I can do, but she kind of expects those things of me already; pertaining to jobs. I'm not even sure she can make the kinds of threats she does.

As for my boyfriend, he's been going through a lot at home lately and I don't really want to put that kind of pressure on him right now. His guardians don't really *care* about us, or him for that matter showing their given attitudes. We're both pretty much waiting to be done with school and at least in college before we start anything huge, but I felt the visit would be a good first step. I think I'm just a bit stuck as it seems. I appreciate the support, though.
   
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